MUSIC CHANGES LIVES
We believe that all children deserve the chance to learn music, express themselves creatively, and achieve educational success. Research studies demonstrate that early childhood music instruction increases both academic and social success. It develops independent thinking, self-discipline, spatial intelligence (like that required to solve advanced mathematics problems), good cooperation and team building abilities, self esteem, creative problem solving, and improved memory and concentration. No wonder students who receive early music instruction do better on standardized tests like the SAT. They also go on to become innovators in science, technology, art and medicine...and leaders in our communities.
The Boyle Heights Community Youth Orchestra is an "El Sistema" inspired orchestra and part of the global El Sistema movement of MUSIC FOR SOCIAL CHANGE.
More about El Sistema: http://elsistemausa.org/el-sistema/venezuela/
The BHCYO provides music instruction and instrument loans, free of charge, to children aged six to fourteen who live in the East LA area of Boyle Heights. Since instrumental and choral ensemble training have been cut from almost every public elementary school curriculum in Los Angeles, children are hungry for this knowledge and experience.
Boyle Heights is a culturally rich community, but it is also one of the poorest sections of Los Angeles. Families in our area simply can not afford music lessons. That's where the BHCYO comes in: to provide free, high level training in playing orchestral instruments, reading music, and singing. All of our students learn to read musical notation. We also make long term instrument loans so that the children can practice at home.
BHCYO began in the summer of 2012 by offering 75 hours of free music instruction to children who, for the most part, had no prior music education. During the 2013 & 2014 academic school years, the orchestra met four hours a week after school and some Saturdays. In addition, we again offered a six week intensive summer program (90 hours of instruction) July-August during the summers of 2013 & 2014 as a City of LA Department of Cultural Affairs MUSIC LA education site. We resumed our after school schedule in September of 2015.
When we first started, more than 100 children tried to enroll in our orchestra program, but we only had space and enough instruments to accommodate 65. Luckily, BHCYO recently moved to a larger space at the Salesian Boys and Girls Club Wabash site so now we can expand the orchestra to include even more children. Our orchestra students are enthusiastically embracing this opportunity, with a goal to perform at Disney Hall within five years!